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Peter Farrar

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Joined April 2020

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Peter's obsession with test match cricket is well known amongst his friends, often leading them to avoid him or quickly change the subject when he begins his analysis. Since 1978 the only Boxing Day test he has missed was when South Africa's return from their ban was washed out at the MCG. His daughters regularly accompany him to the test, retreating to the bar when he begins recalling matches he attended as a younger man.

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Ha, yes the Peter Siddle haircut. I was going to say hairstyle but that’s overstating. Peroxide Peter one of the commentators said. I watched the Renshaw innings with interest and disappointing to see him get out as he seemed on his way to an innings that supported him putting up his hand. What I liked was a strong discipline towards choosing which ball to play. I’m now speculating whether he has now moved to an improved level of self confidence and maturity. I hope so, can’t help but think he is really needed. Thanks for a well thought out article Paul.

Eight early takes from the Sheffield Shield

Good points Paul. I’m a big fan of succession plans and grooming players for roles they appear to have potential for. When Warne was bowling the belief was McGill would come into the team after his retirement. History tells us that plan didn’t go well. As your article indicates, the cupboard was then well and truly bare and there was a scramble to find a replacement. I recall that earlier time where Cameron White was touted but he concentrated on batting. So if Lyon has to be out of the team for any reason, I’m seeing history repeating. Maybe Wade and Warner may need to spend more time at the nets landing a few on the cracks. (Not a serious suggestion).

What does Australian cricket need to do about our Test spinner stocks?

I’m glad this article came up, I’ve lately been wondering also. And the time is so right for us to find that other opener. Joe Burns is really yet to own his position and there’s questions about David Warner when opening in test matches overseas. I saw Bancroft make a twenty something at the MCG and his determination to stay at the crease impressed me. But that was before the ball tampering incident. I wouldn’t blame a new and young player to the team finding that a crushing experience. All I’m sure of is that we’ll have better answers to this at the end of this season where we can more fully assess where he is at.

Can Bancroft bounce back?

Great article and in particular inspired research matth. I’m picturing you bent over Excel spreadsheets for hours coming up with this. Perhaps in your conclusions there is also the idea of certain batsmen having their best brought out in particular circumstances. I think of Allan Border’s batting during our tough times in the 1980s, as if the team’s struggles brought out the best in him. Maybe Trumper lifted in response to where the test match was at. Thanks again.

Analysing Australia’s Test cricket winners: Trumper, Waugh, Warner and Smith

I think coinciding series is less than ideal and will especially become a problem if we find ourselves short on a couple of players due to injuries. I must admit the scheduling approach overall has an ad hoc look to it. We are going back to South Africa for a second test series yet they haven’t toured here for tests since the last time we were there. I notice this also for India, having won a test series here on their last tour and now they are back again without the Aussies touring their country for tests in the meantime. Mind you, I am looking forward to their time here. I suppose it’s a matter of follow the money.

More fixture chaos for Cricket Australia as men's side gets double-booked

Thanks for those comments Paul. Your idea about the ODI is a good one and may well have been closer to his heart if he was having a say in this. I thought to run this article and see what the comments were before possibly dropping a line to Cricket Australia. Although I see from The Age there are now plans afoot to recognise him, an ODI player of the year was one of the options being considered. Goodness he is going to be missed, I still can’t believe it.

The Dean Jones Cup would add to a legend's legacy

Thanks Micko. Given the circumstances of Jones’ death and the number of lives lost through this condition, I saw it as a way of building awareness and education that may save lives…whilst celebrating Dean Jones’ sporting career. I don’t believe there is an excess of these types of events. In any case I’m noticing in today’s media there seems to be other plans around recognising his life. Will see what eventuates.

The Dean Jones Cup would add to a legend's legacy

Totally fine with that Rellum. Apparently there’s some plans to recognise his career underway, probably during the Boxing Day test if that goes ahead.

The Dean Jones Cup would add to a legend's legacy

There’s a lot to look forward to Paul. Will most likely be saying the same thing next year as England pack their bags to tour here. I’m quietly also anticipating the next South African tour whenever that may be. But if we are to take ourselves seriously as one of the top test teams, we need to win this series against India. I hope Burns and Wade can really own their places in the team, I’m not sure they are there yet. It’ll certainly be encouraging if we see some early positive performances of our test players in the Shield competition.

The calm before the Test summer storm

So soon for him to be lost to cricket. I looked forward to his columns published in Melbourne’s Sunday Age. Passionate, informed and insightful. He didn’t back away from what he thought and as far as I could tell, most of the time he was right. Cricket lovers are all the worse for his passing. I wouldn’t at all mind a Shield or other appropriate fixture being played for a cup in his name.

Dean Jones' death shocks cricket world

Thanks Spanner. And yes, if we have to watch it anywhere else it may as well be the picturesque Adelaide Oval. We will meanwhile have to avoid exhaling, socialising, being within 1.5 metres and running through the streets demonstrating. What a life!

I cannot wait for the first ball of the Boxing Day Test

Reading this has been the best part of my day so far Paul. What I also find interesting is that what you say in this article could be extended across other sports. Tennis players seem machine like compared to the personalities of John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors and others from decades ago. (Although one current Australian comes to mind as an exception). Your observation is true of AFL too. Players and teams more and more seem to have a manufactured look about them. Glad you put this to an article.

Cricket desperately needs its characters

Appreciate your comment Jon. It’s hard to imagine a day in the sun wearing a mask right through but will see. At least for once I won’t have a sunburnt nose. It’s certainly likely something will be followed similar to what you describe in Canberra.

I cannot wait for the first ball of the Boxing Day Test

Thanks Dexter. That sounds like a good approach. I’d love a day or two to see a test at the Gabba. One day hopefully. Will be interesting how the India series goes given the result of last time.

I cannot wait for the first ball of the Boxing Day Test

Ha ha, thanks Late News. At least my batting days are over which means having a double chin doesn’t give the bowlers something extra to aim for…

I cannot wait for the first ball of the Boxing Day Test

Yes, fair question Paul. Feel like there has been some recent acknowledgement of how Finch has grown into that captaincy role too. I’m interested in how his career progresses from here.

What standards should we judge ultra-high risk batsmen by?

Enjoyed the article Daniel. All I can add is that it was also a match that demonstrated the value of having batting talent in the tail, as shown by Mitchell Starc.

A little bit of resilience goes a long way for Justin Langer's men

Thanks matth. I think we might be reaching the end, 26/9 is expected to see some restrictions lifted. An Australian series win would get us out of the rut!

I cannot wait for the first ball of the Boxing Day Test

That sounds enjoyable Paul. The idea of calling into a pub and having a beer or five would be the next best thing to being there. Thanks for the wishes about the job too. Being here to see the seasons change and lie in bed an extra hour have at least shown unemployment offers a few fringe benefits. Thanks again.

I cannot wait for the first ball of the Boxing Day Test

I have a reasonable mop of it Late News, sadly all grey tending silver! Possibly unlike Justin Langer, I haven’t yet started pulling it out.

I cannot wait for the first ball of the Boxing Day Test

Great read Paul. No amount of time in the nets is likely to ever change the approach of these batsmen. David Warner, especially in his early days also comes to mind, along with the likes of Ian Botham who I once remember hitting a six, a four and then out next ball. I expect these sorts of players are instinctive, rather than grafting or rehearsed in any way. It must be difficult for a cricketer like Maxwell to come to the crease where the game is delicately poised, get his eye in and adapt to any conditions (especially if under lights) before putting Australia in a good position.

What standards should we judge ultra-high risk batsmen by?

Certainly requires some careful thinking Paul. I felt this had to come up during the recent England series. Successive tests for instance at Old Trafford appeared to take a toll of that surface. I only watched some of last night’s one dayer but the pitch resembled poured concrete. Then again, it’s been very hot in England. During one of the tests I noticed when the ball was struck by a batsman and hit an unused but worn pitch, it sometimes skewed direction from the uneven surface, forcing the fielder to veer off. Like you I hope this doesn’t impact on the quality of the cricket.

Spare a thought for the Adelaide Oval curator

Great list. As an aside, I’ve sometimes seen a modest score made by a newcomer but even though it was small, their potential was stamped on it. In particular I recall a forty something by Justin Langer while taking a battering from the West Indies attack. I saw Phil Jacques make 22 in the second innings of a Boxing Day test but even though the score was hardly overwhelming, he had a style that day which I thought meant bigger things lay ahead. A couple of seasons ago against India I also believed Marcus Harris showed tremendous potential, from his early performance. Having said all that, clearly my predictions aren’t always right.

Baggy Green prodigies: If you’re good enough, then you’re old enough

That got everyone thinking Paul. Thanks for a worthwhile read. I’ve tried but have failed to endear myself to T 20. I think the problem is that the games feel like they are played to a formula each time. The outfits change but the strategy doesn’t. I’ve been left feeling it’s the same as watching a rerun of a show I’ve seen several times before. The situation isn’t helped by the excessive amount of it. Give me the possible twists and turns of a test any day. Come to think of it, I’d rather sit on my own at the MCG for a few sessions of a Shield game than a T 20. Good job on your umpiring work by the way.

How Cricket Australia killed my interest in the professional game

Glad to read this update. A factor of winning so often at the GABBA must also be touring teams not having played enough tour matches prior to the first test. As a result they are underdone and not entirely ready for our pitches at that time. The Melbourne Age recently reported the MCG was meanwhile working on still holding the Boxing Day test if circumstances permit. But with a crowd maximum of 25,000 per day.

Aussies will adapt if Gabba start rubbed